June 12, 2005

Can you spell WASTE boys and girls?

A very alert Dopester has clued me into this story which escaped my notice.

The [Illinois] Corrections Department plans to spend nearly $450,000 for an accounting firm to determine whether state prisons are operating efficiently, although its own staff has conducted two similar studies in the past two years.

But the union representing prison guards complained Wednesday that prisons are dangerously understaffed and the money should be spent to hire more security staff.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees also questioned the qualifications of the firm, which has never reviewed a statewide prison system. An executive for Harvey M. Rose Accountancy Corp. said the company could handle the work.

The $443,975 contract has not yet been signed, Short said, but it is outlined in an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press. The study should start this summer and finish by year's end, Short said.

The review comes even as the General Assembly last week slashed the Corrections Department's budget by $88 million, or 6.4 percent. The agency's employee headcount, according to state records, has plummeted 13 percent, from 16,104 in August 2002 to 14,020 in April, while the inmate population has grown by more than 1,100 in the same period. (emphasis mine)

A Corrections executive said last summer that if Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration had not put a hold on new hires, the agency would add security guards.

"I don't know that it's necessary to spend nearly half a million dollars to be informed of conditions that any correctional officer could tell you they face," said [AFSCME] union spokesman Anders Lindall.
This is where our money is going, when Blago and the Dems have agreed to raid teacher and state employee pension funds just to keep the state solvent? Outrageous.


At 6/13/2005 6:08 AM, Blogger RepublicanJoe said...

If the prison is not opened soon, then Mike Boland needs to go. The need to open the prison is abundantly clear, and has been so for four years. At least Rep. Sacia is speaking on the house floor about it. Boland has done squat. I know, I have been to S'field, and the only thing that happens is IF a reporter shows up, then Mike shows up. Otherwise, he has "... done more then enough for that small town.." i.e Thomson. Remember saying that mike?

At 6/13/2005 9:35 AM, Blogger diehard said...

Why is everyone so excited about opening another prison? Who cares?!
Thats all you hear from our state representation prisons and riverboat gambling. No new ideas from these guys.
And why would a serene Mississippi River area want a prison. the gangs migrate to were the prisons are.

At 6/13/2005 9:48 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm not a fan of making prisons one of the only growth industries for states. But perhaps you're unaware that the Thompson prison has already been built.
It's sitting there in all it's $143 million dollar glory, completely empty and unused.

But Illinois is not alone in having built prisons only to not have the money to actually put them into operation. This has happened in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well, as is pointed out in this article.

At 6/13/2005 10:46 AM, Blogger diehard said...

Cant we make into something that brings in money instead of spends it? Lets try to recoupe some of the 143 million!

At 6/13/2005 8:15 PM, Blogger Milton said...

The real solution is to reduce all these crazy sentences the legislators and Governor keeps passing/signing. It is out of control! Then we can start closing prisons and laying off prison staff.

Now it is Meth Labs. How many Meth Lab producers are threat to society if we can get them off Meth and doing something productive at Wal-Mart or McDonalds?

At 6/13/2005 9:11 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Perhaps the $500,000 prison study will recommend that we close down a couple of the ancient buildings in other parts of Illinois and use our new $143 mil efficient ultra-hi tek prison to house more for less manpower?

I heard that the Thomson prison has great security and can be operated much more efficient than some of the others that are over 100 years old buildings falling apart and systems for security not nearly as good.

The prison study will say whatever the one who hired it wants it to say... what a waste of tax dollars so desperately needed in other areas.

At 7/05/2005 10:15 PM, Blogger Adam said...

This is in response to die hard's comments. Where is your proof to back up the comment about gangs move to where prisons are?
The feds are looking into purchasing Thompson. There are many benefits to having a prison move into town. The inmate population in the area counts for total population for leglislaters in their district; therefore, alowing the state rep to speak on behalf of inmates that do not have a political voice. this is a positive thing. People that work there bring money and business into the area. Prisions create jobs for people that live in the communty. A correctons offer makes 52,400 a year. If you don't know how a prision operates, don't comment on the issue.


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